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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL) Contrarian for Slower Consumer Electronics

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Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) stock is pushing toward its former highs due to sustained demand for iPhones and future services revenue, according to analysts at Wedbush. Dan Ives, a Wedbush analyst, wrote in a research note that the company is benefiting from strong demand in Asia for the iPhone 14, with no significant production cuts. He raised his target for Apple’s share price to $205 from $190, continuing to rate it as Outperform.

Ives argued that investors should be counting on an acceleration in services revenue in the coming quarters, based on price increases and the 100 million new iPhone users added over the past 15 months. He believes that overall, Apple’s services business is worth $1.2 trillion to $1.3 trillion for the company’s sum-of-the-parts valuation and is an underappreciated asset by the Street.

Other analysts are also reporting resilient iPhone demand. UBS analysts wrote in a research note that retailers’ sales of iPhones in February were down only 3% from the prior year, compared to a fall of more than 14% for the global smartphone industry overall. The UBS analysts kept a Buy rating on Apple’s stock with a $180 target price.

Apple’s stock has risen 27% this year from lows of around $125 at the beginning of 2023, and a boost from here could see the company’s shares retest record highs of above $180 when adjusted for stock splits. As of early trading on Monday, Apple’s stock was up 0.3% at $165.45.

In terms of the consumer electronic giant’s recent moves, Apple Inc. is making strides towards expanding its reach in the Indian market, with the announcement of its first official retail store in Mumbai, India’s financial hub. This development comes after the tech giant launched an online store in India in 2020, and has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With nearly 700 million smartphone users, India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market, making it a crucial market for Apple’s growth strategy.

Apple’s products have been sold in India for years on various e-commerce platforms and through resellers. The company has also been assembling some of its products in India, including iPhones, through Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturers Foxconn and Wistron Corp. In fact, more than 50% of the $9 billion worth of smartphones exported from India between April 2022 and February this year were iPhones, according to the India Cellular and Electronics Association.

By launching its first official retail store in Mumbai, Apple is set to deepen its connection with Indian consumers and showcase its innovative products and services. Additionally, Apple has plans to assemble iPads and AirPods in India, further solidifying its commitment to investing in the Indian market. The move is poised to create new opportunities for the company in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, where Apple continues to experience robust demand for its products.

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